I am an assistant professor at the School of Global Inclusion and Social Development at University of Massachusetts Boston. I received my undergraduate degree (with honors) in Economics from Delhi University, my masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and my PhD in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in New Institutional Social Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis.
My work focuses on the political economy of development, the politics of institutional change, and the impact of social and economic change processes on resource-poor communities in a global and comparative perspective. I investigate how institutions at the global, national and local levels interact to shape human well-being in a period of ‘late’ capitalism. My interests lie in political economy, institutional change, livelihoods, market-driven development strategies, democratic decentralization and participatory development. I study these themes in India using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods grounded in ethnographic fieldwork.
My work has been supported by the Center for New Institutional Social Sciences, the Taraknath Das Foundation at the Southern Asia Institute in Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis and Western Michigan University. My work draws upon multi-level ethnography in the drylands inhabited by marginalized social groups, specifically tribes and cultivator castes in the harsh, semi-arid environments of Gujarat, western India, the flagship state of pro-market reforms in the country. While South Asia is my regional focus, my interests include Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States.